LONDON — The Mayor of London has formally approved Chelsea’s £500 million plan to redevelop Stamford Bridge, stating that the new 60,000-seater stadium will become “a jewel in London’s sporting crown.”

Chelsea were granted planning approval by Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Planning and Development Control Committee in January and while the support of London Mayor Sadiq Khan was widely expected to follow, his endorsement is another significant step forward for Roman Abramovich’s project team.

In a statement, Khan said: “London is one of the world’s greatest sporting cities and I’m delighted we will soon add Chelsea’s new stadium to the already fantastic array of sporting arenas in the capital.

“Having taken a balanced view of the application, I’m satisfied this is a high-quality and spectacular design which will significantly increase capacity within the existing site, as well as ensuring fans can have easy access from nearby transport connections.

“I’m confident this new stadium will be a jewel in London’s sporting crown and will attract visitors and football fans from around the world.”

Chelsea will have to leave Stamford Bridge for up to three years while it is redeveloped.

In a statement on their official website, Chelsea said they were “delighted” at Khan’s decision and added: “This is the latest significant step toward redevelopment of the stadium and the delivery of the extensive local community programme.

“Further steps lie ahead, both during and after the planning process, before construction work can commence. We continue to collaborate with all stakeholders and will keep you informed of progress made.

“We would like to acknowledge all residents, businesses and other parties locally who are engaging with us during the process.”

In addition to the cost of demolishing Stamford Bridge and constructing the new 60,000-seater arena, Chelsea’s application includes an investment of £12m in community activities and £3.75m toward affordable housing in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

A more detailed design for the stadium must now be completed, while further collaborative work with Network Rail and Transport for London is required to ensure the safe and efficient passage of thousands of supporters to and from Stamford Bridge on match days.

The plan will require Chelsea to move into a temporary home — most likely to be Wembley — for three years while Stamford Bridge is demolished and the new stadium is constructed, with the current estimate that it will be ready in time for the start of the 2021-22 season.


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